Although it is by far one of the most iconic games played in both online and in-person casinos across the world, poker also happens to be one of the most daunting from a beginner's perspective. And unlike many of the other popular casino games such as blackjack or roulette, which have a comparatively simple ruleset, poker is not necessarily an intuitive game to play.
Even once you have gotten used to the general ruleset, the system of “hands” and the different poker variants, there can still be quite a high barrier to entry when it comes to the strategies you deploy in a game.
If you aspire to increase your skill and to become a more advanced poker player, however, learning some basic strategies you can use in a game to increase your chances of success is essential. As such, once you have learned the basics of how to play poker, we would recommend you concentrate on some of the basic tips and strategies that we will set out in this short article.
And who knows, once you get to grips with them, you might even end up joining one of the many championship poker tournaments that are played across the world each year, such as the prestigious World Series of Poker!
Perhaps one of the most important things to bear in mind when you are trying out new poker strategies is the importance of being consistent.
When you are in the middle of a match, try to avoid suddenly switching things up or hopping between strategies. Poker games can often be quite long, drawn-out affairs, which might take many hours and rounds of play to produce results.
The same is also true of poker strategies. As such, we would generally discourage suddenly switching up strategies when you are in the middle of a game. Rather try out strategies over the course of multiple rounds to get a sense of whether they are bearing fruit on that particular day.
Play with intent
As a follow-on from the previous point, if you want to elevate your game and avoid some of the pitfalls more casual players fall prey to, you should always go into a poker match with a sense of intent.
This might involve thinking about what strategies you want to try out before you enter the online poker room or walk up to the card table. It also means you should always pay close attention to what is going on at the card table once you get there.
Always have a reason for taking a particular action or deploying a specific strategy. If you can support your strategic decisions in a game with an actual rationale, rather than just a general feeling or hunch, this is a good sign you are maturing as a player.
Although much of the focus is on specific strategies or formulas that you can apply to the cards currently on the table, human psychology is a much more important factor.
Poker is a uniquely intellectual, and at times, emotional game where it's easy to go on tilt. And unlike other traditional table games, such as blackjack or roulette, where the action is over in an instant, poker tends to be a protracted business. This means you will likely see the full spectrum of human emotion come out during a game, with everything from self-confidence, wisdom, stress, anxiety, sadness, excitement and elation all being present at some point during a game.
As emotions are unavoidable in poker, be sure to use these to your advantage. If you are in a live casino poker room, pay attention to how people are interacting and whether they are in state of heightened or depressed emotion.
Balance aggression with patience
Although they might seem like opposites, both aggression and patience are important in a game of poker.
Aggression can be useful in shorter games like 6-max, where you need to quickly rack up some wins or the blinds will eat up your stack. It can also help to signal to the rest of the table that you are confident in your abilities and need to be treated with caution.
On the other hand, patience really is a virtue when it comes to poker. And sometimes not rushing things can work to your benefit as the rest of the table exhaust themselves. A patient approach is particularly useful when you want to prolong your bankroll and stay in the game longer.
Although both approaches are useful, they must ultimately be in balance with each other. And this is equally true if you are playing a friendly game with friends or competing in a championship poker tournament.